|Decker Canyon Road, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu Beach, California (Mike/flickr.com)|
Sesavati's Vimana (heavenly mansion, chariot, vehicle)
|Ravana seizes the vimana Puspaka.|
As the thousand-rayed sun in the autumn shines in the sky in the ten directions, dispelling darkness, so does this your vimana glow like a blazing smoke-crested fire in the dark night.
It dazzles the eye like lightning, beautiful, suspended in space. Resounding with the music of lute, drum, and cymbal, this platform of yours rivals Indra's city in streaming glory.
White and red and blue lotuses, jasmine, and many flowers are there, blossoming sal and flowering asoka trees, and the air is filled with a rich variety of fragrances.
Sweet-scented trees, breadfruits, laden branches interlaced with palm trees and hanging creepers in full bloom, glorious like jeweled nets, and a delightful lotus pool exists for you.
Whatever flowering plants there are that grow in water and trees that blossom on land, those known in the human world and celestial worlds, all exist in your abode.
Of what calm and self-restraint is this the [karmic] result? By the fruit of what deed [phala] have you arisen here? How did this vimana come to be possessed by you? Tell it in full, O lady with thick eyelashes."
|Vimana or celestial mansion/chariot in Indian art.|
containing diverse varieties of creepers, flowers, and trees, with trumpet-flower, rose apple, and asoka trees — how this mansion came to be possessed by me, now I will tell you. Listen, venerable sir:
In the eastern region of the excellent kingdom of Magadha [where Prince Siddhartha went to find enlightenment], there is a village called Nalaka, venerable sir. There I lived formerly as a daughter-in-law, and they knew me there as Sesavati.
Scattering flower petals joyfully, I honored him, skilled in deeds and worshipped by devas and human beings, the great Upatissa [Ven. Sariputta from Nalaka] who has attained immeasurable quenching [nirvana].
Having worshipped him gone to the ultimate bourn, the eminent seer bearing his last body [final rebirth], on leaving my human shape, I came to (the Heaven of) the Thirty (-Three) and inhabit this place." — Vv. 642-53